France v Scotland in Six Nations: Premiership may relax rules for Scots

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg
Sean Maitland (left) and Stuart Hogg are two of Scotland's Premiership-based players

Premiership Rugby is prepared to relax its rules to allow Scotland players to feature in a rearranged Six Nations match against France.

The game in Paris was scheduled for last Sunday but was postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak in the France camp.

The likely date is now Friday, 26 March - outside the international window.

Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray of Exeter, Gloucester's Chris Harris and Sean Maitland of Saracens are among Scotland's key England-based players.

Sale's Ewan Ashman, Bath pair Josh Bayliss and Jamie Bhatti, Worcester's Cornell du Preez, Harlequins duo James Lang and Scott Steele and another Saracens back, Duncan Taylor, have also been involved in Gregor Townsend's squad this season.

Fly-half Finn Russell plays his club rugby in France with Racing 92.

France head coach Fabien Galthie was backed by his federation despite leaving the squad's bubble on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

Eleven players, including captain Charles Ollivon, tested positive for coronavirus, eventually leading to Scotland's visit being postponed.

Townsend's side, who opened with victory in England before losing narrowly at home to Wales, are scheduled to host Ireland on 14 March then Italy six days later.

The Premiership normally refuses to release players for any games outside of World Rugby's allocated international window but it's believed the clubs are open to making a special exception in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

'Only thing they can do is award Scotland points'

Ugo Monye on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast

I think the game is going to get forfeited and I would not be surprised if the French government take France out of this competition. That's where we're at. But I'd love to see this tournament completed in full with no asterisk, nothing.

Danny Care on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast

I don't know when they're going to find a place for this fixture. Probably the only thing that they can do is award the points to Scotland for this round.

Hopefully, the French players, the whole squad, is tested vigorously and they can still continue with their last two games. We need a completed tournament.

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